Professorial Lecture Series: Carl Spandler - Earth Sciences
Join us for the first event in the online Professorial Lecture Series program, with Associate Professor Carl Spandler.
Carl will discuss 'Unearthing rare earths: Why mining critical metals is vital to our future, and why Australia is well placed to profit'.
The surging global embrace of high-tech applications and clean energy is accelerating demand for the critical metals that enable these applications. Forty years ago, use of metals such as the rare earth elements were limited to specialist military and industrial applications, whereas today they comprise essential components of electric vehicles, high-powered magnets used in energy generation, and modern computer/ telecommunication systems.
Presently, the world’s supply of rare earth elements is dominated by China, which represents a significant geopolitical risk to the western world, particularly in light of the increasing political and economic tensions between China and the USA. This risk of supply of critical metals is a foremost challenge facing progress of modern society and climate change mitigation.
This talk will briefly review the current status of rare earth element supply and demand, and then will outline the geological conditions required to form rare earth element orebodies in the Earth’s crust. Fortunately, Australia has highly prospective geology for rare earth element orebodies and, hence, has the potential to become a major global supplier of critical metals into the future.
An interactive Q&A session will commence after the lecture.